No England start for Hart against Chile
Under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart will not start England's international friendly against Chile at Wembley Stadium, manager Roy Hodgson said on Thursday.
Hart has found himself on the sidelines lately at Manchester City after some high-profile errors, but has continued to receive backing from Hodgson.
However, with the England manager determined to find out more about his squad ahead of next year's World Cup, Hodgson has decided to leave Hart out -- although he did leave open the possibility he might feature at some point during the game.
Hodgson, speaking at the squad's hotel in Watford, north of London, refused to say whether Celtic's highly-rated Fraser Forster or Norwich City's John Ruddy would be in goal come kick-off against Chile on Friday.
"Joe Hart won't be starting the game tomorrow night, but I'll let you work out yourself who will," Hodgson told a news conference. However, he did confirm that Frank Lampard would captain the side in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard.
Hodgson also confirmed that Lampard would receive a commemorative golden cap from Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero of England's 1966 World Cup final win, and his father, Frank Lampard senior, for having made a hundred international appearances -- a feat he achieved against Ukraine in September.
Both Hurst and Lampard senior, who won two England caps as a defender, played for West Ham United, the east London club where Lampard junior started his career.
"I don't intend to reveal the team, but it's a pleasure to say that Frank will be leading the team out. He'll be receiving his 100th cap from his father and Sir Geoff Hurst," Hodgson said.
Lampard said: "It will be a very special moment for me. To win 100 caps was a long time coming and I've seen gold caps given to Stevie (Gerrard) and Ashley (Cole) and the idea of Sir Geoff being involved came from the FA, but it's one I'm very happy with.
"I requested my dad was involved as well and he will be very proud." Hodgson added: "We've lost Rickie Lambert to a muscle problem. It will keep him out of the game on Friday and possibly out of the Germany game (at Wembley on Tuesday)."
However, Hodgson said striker Lambert's uncapped Southampton team-mates Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana would "play some part" against Chile.
Gerrard is expected to return against Germany along with Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker, while Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is also likely to sit out the Chile match.
"Gerrard and Kyle Walker won't be taking any part (against Chile) and that has always been on my agenda," Hodgson said. "They will recover from minor injury problems that have plagued them and will concentrate on the second game and not the first one.
"Daniel has been doing some work and the chances are he will be spared for the second game." England last met Chile at Wembley 15 years ago, when a brace of goals from striker Marcelo Salas gave the South Americans a 2-0 win.
With a nine-game unbeaten run to protect, Chile are likely to provide strong opposition, but Hodgson says he is more interested in assessing the depth of his squad than avoiding defeat.
"I've got to put the performances in front of protecting an unbeaten run," said the former Liverpool manager, whose team have not lost in 2013.
"There's only these two matches plus the one in March (against Denmark) to do that. I can't dismiss the need to give some playing time to people we need to know more about."